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Mixed reactions to GDS and Micam date shifts

Earlier dates in 2014 and 2015 for the GDS and Micam trade shows in Milan and Shanghai have provoked a mixed reaction from British footwear brands and buyers.

GDS will now kick off the footwear show calendar, moving from its usual September and March slots to July 30-August 1, 2014 and February 4-6, 2015. The autumn showcase will stay unchanged on March 12-14, 2014.

The next Micam Milan will not change either, being scheduled for March 2-5, 2014. The following season, however, it will move two weeks forward to August 31- September 3 to “improve the competitiveness” of the trade show and “respond to the needs” of the industry. The first session for 2015 has been advanced to February 15-18.

Its new Chinese edition, Micam Shanghai, will run from October 11-13 this season, but will also move two weeks forward to March 26-28, 2014.

John Saunders, sales and marketing director at the British Footwear Association, said the move represents a “big opportunity” for brands: “With trade shows later in the season, many buyers’ decisions have already been made. For new brands in particular it is important to get in the eye of the buyer. September is often too late.

“The major issue will be in 2015 when shows start to run into each other like icebergs. In some cases they will overlap completely. Choosing which show to go to will become a real logistical issue.”

Harvey Jacobson, chairman of Jacobson Group, whose brands include Lotus, Gola, Dunlop and Lonsdale, said: “The earlier dates have to be a good idea because at the moment they are too late when you put them into context with the clothing market. For multiples the big shows are in June and July and for the independents the major shows are in early August.”

Feroza Bahm, co-founder of UK brand Northern Cobbler, said Micam’s earlier dates will be beneficial: “Stores like Kurt Geiger place orders earlier in the season and we can’t send orders to our factories until we have all our orders together, so in production terms it’ll be better.”

But Gareth Austin-Jones, commercial director of ballet pump brand Cocorose London, said Düsseldorf-based GDS may become a “preview show” with buyers reluctant to write orders so early.

Angelo Marra, business development manager at Suri Shoes, also had reservations about the move. He said: “With the date change people may have to choose between the shows. The majority will pick Micam over GDS.”

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